Ninja Magic is now offering rapid prototyping services for other manufacturers, and specializing in wargaming miniatures and other game pieces.
There are many reasons to use our services over others;
Over ten years of experience working with all kinds of 3d software in the visual effects industry means virtually any file format is acceptable. We can convert these files in-house to the format needed for the prototyping machine to use. We also check them for watertightness, and if needing minor repair we can do so free of charge, or give detailed feedback to the client on more complex issues, and more often than not can pinpoint where exactly the problem lies.
Most service bureaus require .stl files, charge their clients for any labor to do any repairs at all, and/or will merely tell their clients that the file isn't watertight without any feedback on how the client is supposed to fix the problem.
We have worked with this technology for over four years, all the while learning the pitfalls and applicability of the technology specifically to miniatures manufacturing. Knowing this entire process means we approach prototyping a client's miniatures with a unique perspective. We understand what a client's goals are, how the figures will be used and manufactured, and can provide guidance to help our clients get exactly what they want and need the first time.
Most service bureaus merely have technicians who only know how to operate the prototyping machine. They will only check to see if a part will run or not, and be unable to offer any relevant help.
Raw prototypes from any kind of machine are largely unsuitable for direct casting due to their low temperature tolerances, and those that can be directly cast rarely survive the process, so we offer bronze investment casting services for very little cost. For most parts, the cost is between $10 and $15, and that includes post-casting clean-up.
These castings provide clients with durable masters that can be used directly in rubber spin casting molds and will always survive the casting process. Having non-reactive metal masters reduces the cost of production casting significantly since more expensive mold making materials are not needed.
If a service bureau even offers this sort of service, it is exorbitantly priced, or only offer castings in expensive precious metals such as silver - which chemically react to normal black rubber molds and eliminate nearly all the benefits and casting cost savings of having a metal master.
Ninja Magic has a Solidscape prototyping machine, which is one of the highest resolution machines available - 0.0005" in x,y and z at its highest settings. We normally run miniatures with a z resolution of 0.001" as we've found that gives the most bang for the clients buck and has very minimal layer stepping. These machines were designed for use in the jewelry industry and the material its models are made of (a kind of hard wax) has the best burn-out characteristics of any prototyping material. This means investment casts from these models will be the best possible in the industry.
Most other service bureaus prototype their parts in resin, which is stronger than the wax models the solidscape machine produces, but which are not investment cast-able at all and often leach substances that causes curing problems with silicone mold materials.
Lastly, our prices are very competitive. Most of the miniatures we've already produced for clients have had a total cost of under $75, including investment casting. Some as low as $25.
Most prototyping service bureaus will charge two to three times our cost, for a lower resolution output and no investment casting. There are some bureaus that are beginning to offer even lower prices than ours, but again, most of these have a lower resolution and their outputs can not be investment cast causing the client to lose far more money molding and casting than they might save using our services.
©2008 Ninja Magic LLC